Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party — 2012

Jack Spence Masthead

This will be the fourth year I have covered Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (MNSSHP). However, I skipped last year because I needed a break from all the spooky festivities. LOL. If you’ve read my previous blogs on the subject, you’ll notice that the event doesn’t change much from year to year. But that doesn’t stop MNSSHP from being a favorite of many people. This seasonal event is a “must do” for many families. They wouldn’t dream of missing it.

For those of you who aren’t aware of this event and are wondering what it’s all about, let me give you a little history.

For many years, Universal Studios Orlando featured Halloween Horror Nights. This was a separate, ticketed event and the park was transformed each evening from its regular theming into a frightening park of terrifying sights and sounds. It was marketed toward teenagers and young adults and the idea was to truly scare their guests with monsters, vampires, werewolves, and other terrifying surprises.

Universal Studios

In response, Disney started their own Halloween party. But since Disney caters to a more diverse age group, they realized that their gathering would need to be more lighthearted than Universal’s. Thus was born, Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. All you have to do is look at Universal’s advertisement (above) and compare it to Disney’s (below) to realize these two very popular events are marketed toward different audiences.

MNSSHP Logo

MNSSHP is held at the Magic Kingdom on selected nights between September and November. During these evenings, the park offers special theming and shows intended to entertain the entire family. But before I start with a detailed description of MNSSHP, let’s take care of some logistics and answer the inevitable questions.

MNSSHP is a “hard ticketed” event. This means you must purchase a separate admission ticket to attend. Your super-duper, all inclusive, park-hopper, Magic Your Way Ticket is NOT good for MNSSHP. You MUST buy separate admission. Tickets can be purchased online, at any guest relations window, or at the TTC ticket booths.

Here are this year’s dates and prices:

Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Friday, September 28, 2012

Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $55.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $50.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $62.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $57.95 + tax

Sunday, September 30, 2012
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Monday, October 8, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Friday, November 2, 2012

Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $58.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $53.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax

Friday, October 5, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012
Friday, October 26, 2012

Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $64.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $59.95 + tax

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Advance Purchase age 10 and up: $69.95 + tax
Advance Purchase age 3 to 9: $64.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 10 and up: $69.95 + tax
Purchased on Event Day 3 to 9: $64.95 + tax

Disney limits attendance at these parties so the park is never packed. However, the closer you get to Halloween, the busier the party will be. Although I’ve never attended on Halloween, I have heard complaints from others that this evening is too busy. The above prices should give you a clue. The more expensive the ticket, the busier the park will be. The parties are identical every night so it really doesn’t matter what day you attend. You might want to keep this in mind when scheduling.

This next piece of information is very important.

MNSSHP and all of the special events, shows, and parades run from 7pm till midnight. However, you may enter the Magic Kingdom at 4pm with your MNSSHP ticket. If you call Disney and try to verify this, they will be evasive. All they will tell you is the “official” hours are 7pm till midnight. But trust me; you can enter as early as 4pm. I’ve entered at 4pm every year and I did it again this year on opening night.

Disney allows early entrance for a reason. Since the party is only five hours in length, they know that if they didn’t stagger the opening, they would be inundated with everyone arriving at the same time. They could not handle this onslaught of people in an efficient manner. By allowing guest admission starting at 4pm, it balances out the arriving crowd.

When you pass through the turnstiles, you will be given a wristband. This will distinguish you from the “daytime” guests. The Magic Kingdom will cease its normal operating hours at 7pm. At that time, the cast members will restrict access to the various lands. Only those with wristbands will be allowed on rides, in shops, and in restaurants. Those without wristbands will be asked to leave the park.

Wristband

In past years, I have received a number of letters from readers complaining that Disney does not remove all of the “day” guests from the park — and I’m at a loss on how to respond to your comments. All I can tell you is that Disney does the best they can. As far as I’m concerned, the cast members get a great big “A” in my grade book. If people want to cheat the system, they’re going to cheat the system.

Is it fair that the couple waiting next to you for the Boo-To-You Parade didn’t pay to see it? Of course not. But you have a choice. You can either let these cheaters irritate you and allow them to ruin your night, or you can forget about it and have a good time. However, if you’re not able to release on this, then complain at City Hall. I cannot help you with this situation. Please note, if you send me a comment that contains references to this situation, I will either delete the reference or not publish your comment at all.

Some people want to spend the entire day at the Magic Kingdom, including MNSSHP in the evening – and that’s fantastic. Of course, you will need two tickets to do this – your general admission ticket and your MNSSHP ticket. Sometime after 4pm, you will need to get a wristband. To do this, you can either return to the main entrance or visit the FastPass area at Stitch’s Great Escape in Tomorrowland. The cast members here will process your party ticket and give you a wristband and trick-or-treat bag.

Wristband Distribution

Trick-Or-Treat Bags

If you find you’re in the park on a party night and don’t have a MNSSHP ticket, but want to honestly partake in the events, you can buy a ticket at City Hall if the party is not sold out.

City Hall

Most, but not all of the rides and restaurants will be up and running during MNSSHP. Here is a list of what will be available:

Adventureland

Pirates of the Caribbean
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin

Aloha Isle

Fantasyland

“it’s a small world”
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Mad Tea Party
Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Peter Pan’s Flight
Prince Charming Royal Carousel
The Barnstormer
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Storybook Treats Ice Cream

Frontierland

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Splash Mountain

Golden Oak Outpost
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café
Westward Ho
Frontierland Turkey Leg Cart
Frontierland Churro Wagon

Liberty Square

Haunted Mansion

Sleepy Hollow

Tomorrowland

Astro Orbiter
Buzz Lightyear’s Ranger Spin
Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
Space Mountain
Stitch’s Great Escape
Tomorrowland Speedway
Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover

Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
The Lunching Pad

Okay. Now that we have the logistics out of the way, let’s have some fun.

The merriment begins at the TTC where signs welcome us to the event.

TTC

Upon arriving at the Magic Kingdom, more signs and decorations greet us as we approach Bag Check. On the other side of the ticket booths, Mickey’s Forecourt is decked out with festive bunting, pumpkins, and autumn garland. Don’t forget to pick up your wristband and trick-or-treat bag.

Magic Kingdom Entrance

Train Station

Pumpkins

Halloween Garland

Disney has come up with a special cast member costume just for this party. Here we have two spooky crew members sporting the latest in Halloween fashion.

Cast Member Costume

But Disney cast members aren’t the only ones who get into the spirit with special attire. Party attendees are also encouraged to wear their favorite Halloween outfits. However, there are a few guidelines to be observed.

Costumes should be child-friendly and not obtrusive or offensive.

Adult guests may wear masks, but the masks must not obstruct vision (you need to be able to see where you’re going).

Guest who dress like Disney characters are NOT to pose for pictures or sign autographs for other guests.

Do not bring large or dangerous props with you.

Generally, costumes are not allowed for anyone over the age of nine during normal operating hours. However, Disney relaxes this rule on party days for guests spending the entire day at the Magic Kingdom.

Here are a few pictures of some costumed partygoers.

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Guest Costumes

Since dressing in costume is a big part of the event, you might want to consider making reservations at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique or The Pirates League for a child makeover. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique accepts their last reservation at 7:30pm and The Pirates League is open until 8pm. However, I would suggest making an earlier reservation so your child can thoroughly enjoy the party in their princess or pirate garb.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Pirates League

Main Street and Liberty Square are the only lands that are decorated for MNSSHP. We’ll begin on Main Street with the pumpkin citizens found around Town Square. The first two fellows are part of the Walt Disney World Band.

Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People

Here we have the Mayor and his lovely wife.

Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People

As we circle Town Square we find an Emporium shopper and a baseball player who has wandered over from Casey’s Corner.

Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People

And finally we come to the two pumpkin-people cast members from the Main Street Confectionery.

Pumpkin People

Pumpkin People

Disney has also set up a photo op on Town Square. The statue of Roy and Minnie has been removed and replaced by stacks of pumpkins that perfectly frame the castle in the background.

Main Street Photo Op

Pumpkins, pumpkin, and more pumpkins line the upper stories and windows of Main Street. Many of these are themed appropriated for their location. Above the Fire Station we see these. I especially like the pumpkin pointing the way to the restrooms.

Fire Station Pumpkins

Fire Station Pumpkins

Restroom Pumpkins

Above the Main Street Cinema we see a pumpkin filmstrip of Mickey.

Main Street Cinema Pumpkin

Casey’s Corner also gets into the act with a few sports and food related carvings.

Casey's Corner Pumpkins

Casey's Corner Pumpkins

Casey's Corner Pumpkins

Casey's Corner Pumpkins

Across the street at Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, a few more specialty gourds can be seen. I think the fellow in the last photo is suffering from an ice cream headache.

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor Pumpkins

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor Pumpkins

Plaza Ice Cream Parlor Pumpkins

Don’t forget to check out the Mickey adorned light posts.

Micky Lamppost

Micky Lamppost

On the Hub, holiday statues of some of our favorite characters can be found.

Hub Character Statues

Hub Character Statues

Hub Character Statues

Hub Character Statues

In Liberty Square, some pumpkins, garland, and other autumn decorations have been added to give this “land of freedom” a Halloween touch.

Liberty Square Decorations

Liberty Square Decorations

Liberty Square Decorations

The cast members working the Haunted Mansion also get a makeover. Besides their regular, somber costume, their faces are made up to look ghoulish. Also, a “spirit from beyond” takes center stage on the lawn of the mansion and entertains guests with wonderful stories of her life, both living and dead. Many let others pass them in line so they can stand longer and listen to her tales. To add to the creepiness, the gravestones are given a spooky look with the addition of low lying fog.

Haunted Mansion Cast Member

Haunted Mansion Cast Member

Mansion Ghost

Be on the lookout for impromptu Halloween games like this Spider Web Toss.

Impromtu Games

For those of you who play the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game, a special collector’s card is available at the party. Note, Disney will punch your MNSSHP ticket to insure that you only get ONE, and only ONE card.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom Card

Now let’s get to the real purpose of Halloween, CANDY. Throughout the park are a number of trick-or-treat candy stations. These are clearly marked on the handout you receive when entering the park. However, Disney has also made it easy for you. At each trick-or-treat spot a cast member will be stationed nearby holding a Mickey Pumpkin sign. Also, an illuminated Mickey Pumpkin clearly marks the spot for goodies.

Candy Station Markers

Candy Station Markers

To see the handout for the party, click here.

At the beginning of the party, lines for candy are long as the kids want to get the good stuff immediately. But later in the evening, lines disappear for the most part. The candy offered is the small, bite sized pieces, but good brands are provided. Also, the cast members are generous with their handouts.

Generous Candy

Each of the candy stations is mildly themed to the area. Here are a few of the location banners.

Candy Stations

Candy Stations

Candy Stations

Candy Stations

Halloween merchandise is also a big seller and Disney is ready.

Halloween Merchandise

Halloween Merchandise

Halloween Merchandise

Halloween Merchandise

A particularly popular item is this Ghost Mickey popcorn tub that can double as a trick-or-treat bucket once you get home. These are only available at the popcorn wagons. They sell for $12 – including popcorn.

Ghost Mickey Popcorn Bucket

There are two Character Dance Parties. Rock-It Out”¦Stitch’s Club 626 can be found at the Tomorrowland stage. Here, a very energetic DJ gets the entire group goovin’ with Stitch, Goofy, and Pluto.

Rock-It Out

Rock-It Out

Rock-It Out

Rock-It Out

Rock-It Out

Over at the Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland we have Woody’s Happy Harvest Roundup. Another DJ is on hand to liven things up with Woody, Jessie, and Bullseye.

Woody's Happy Harvest Roundup

Woody's Happy Harvest Roundup

These Dance Parties are a fantastic opportunity for your kids to interact with the characters. It’s a lot more fun than standing in a long line waiting for a photo and autograph.

Presented on the Castle Stage is the Villain’s Dance Mix and Mingle show. Here, some of Disney’s greatest bad-guys and gals dance and rant and try to impress you with their evilness. This show is presented at 7:45, 8:50, 10:05, and 11:15. This show is far more entertaining than scary and kids should have no problem with it.

Villain's Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain's Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain's Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain's Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain's Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain's Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain's Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain's Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain's Dance Mix and Mingle

Villain's Dance Mix and Mingle

After the show, the villains come down from the stage and pose for pictures with guests. However, they will only be available for about 15 minutes and they are mobbed by enthusiastic fans.

I think most people would agree that Mickey’s “Boo-to-You” Halloween Parade is the highlight of the evening. Shown twice each night (8:15 & 10:30), this spectacle is a hoot. Be sure to find your viewing spot by the announced beginning time as the Headless Horseman makes a mad dash along the parade route to the cheers of the crowd. If you’re not there in time, you miss him. Also note, the second parade is significantly less crowded. If you’re planning on staying late, skip the first parade and enjoy the park.

The beginning of the parade starts off tame enough with some of the not-so-scary characters, but then the villains take over for a haunting good time. Toward the end of the parade, several Goofy’s Candy Company carts stroll by and a number of his minions pass out treats to the crowd. I filmed the entire parade and it can be seen here.

At 9:30, a special fireworks show called Happy HalloWishes is presented. A Ghost Host introduces villain after villain and the castle is illuminated appropriately while color coordinated fireworks burst overhead. Once again, I filmed the entire show for your enjoyment.

That’s it for my review of MNSSHP. This event is a favorite of thousands and a “must do” every season. If you think this event is for you, then by all means, get yourself a costume and go. You’ll have a ghoulishly good time.

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61 Replies to “Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party — 2012”

  1. Hi Jack I was just wondering,I’m going in sometime in october and I was just wondering,Would the Bert mask from Sesame Street be okay?(I’ll be able to see where I’m going for sure and If I get hot during the party,Would it be okay if I take it off sometimes?Thanks!

    Jack’s Answer:

    Disney is only concerned about masks if they impair your vision. As long as you can see okay, you’re fine. It’s also perfectly okay to take off your mask. The intent of MNSSHP is to have fun, not force you to be uncomfortable. Bert is a great choice.

  2. I loved the blog! I’ve never been to the MNSSHP and I had so many questions. Thankfully, you answered all of my questions which will make my planning for the trip so much easier. Thanks again!

  3. Hi Jack,

    I have two decorative leather masks from La Boutique des Provinces at the Canada Pavilion in EPCOT from 1987. They are in very good condition and I know my mother had spent more than $1500 for them back in 1987. I’m wondering if you know of how I can best go about selling them? Is there a proper forum to sell this sort of high-end Disney merchandise? Any help you can give me would be much appreciated.

    Thank you so much!

    Marc

    Jack’s Answer:

    I know exactly what you’re talking about because I also have two of these masks which are made out of leather. When I saw them for sale at the Canada Pavilion long ago, I just knew I had to have them. They hang proudly in my dining room. And they were expensive!

    Now for the bad news…

    Most “Disney” collectors will not consider these to be “Disney” collectibles. They have absolutely no connection to Disney except for the fact that they were bought at Epcot. They were made by a Canadian artist that Disney contracted with to help supply this store. They are as much “Disney” as a nutcracker sold in the Germany Pavilion or piñata sold in the Mexico Pavilion.

    I don’t really know any site where Disney merchandise is bought and sold exclusively. Sorry. I know when I’m looking for something Disney I always start by looking on eBay.

    I wish I could be more help to you.

  4. Hello,
    Im trying to buy tickets for Mickey’s Halloween party at Disneyland in Anaheim CA. I can only go on a FRIDAY night. I went to the ticket sales and they said all tickets on FRIDAYS are sold out and they told me to
    check online so i did. They are also sold out online 🙁 i dont want to buy from craigslist or stubhub or anything like that. Is there any other way i can get a ticket? Through a crew member? Waiting that same day for any available tickets? Is there ANYTHING i can do?

    Thank u!

    Jack’s Answer:

    Sorry for the bad news, but if you’re being told the event is sold out, it’s sold out. They don’t put any tickets aside for cast members or “emergencies.”

    Although there are individuals who legitimately sell tickets on eBay and CraigsList, I always discourage people from buying from these sources. You have no way of knowing if the ticket is actually good until you reach the turnstiles — and then it’s too late.

    Jessica

  5. Wonderful information. We’ll be there on the 16th are very excited. Are ticket holders for MNSSHP allowed to ride the rides between 4pm and 7pm or do they restrict usage to daytime ticket holders only?

    Jack’s Answer:

    The rides are open to everyone between 4 and 7.

  6. We were at Disney World all last week and attended our first Halloween party on September 25th. We found it to be especially crowded. ECV’s and strollers blocked pathways. We thought it being a hard ticket that it wouldn’t be so jammed as it was. It did thin out after the 2nd parade. Lines for characters were very long so we skipped those and opted to do Trick or Treating and see the parades. The fireworks were beautiful.

    Jack’s Comment:

    If you are finding the hard ticketed parties too crowded, you need to complain at City Hall. Unless people let Disney know they are not happy with the situation, things will not change.

  7. Can you tell me where we get the special Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card? Is it free or do you have to buy it?

    Jack’s Answer:

    These cards can be picked up at the Fire Station on Main Street and near the Christmas Store in Liberty Square.

  8. Great review with wonderful information that will make my trip even more fulfilling! I do have a question…I’ve read in several places that the shops on Main Street stay open about an hour after the park closes. Is that true during the Halloween event? I’d like to reduce shopping time to take advantage of all the other events going on and save that for the end.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I’m sorry. I really don’t know. I’ve never stayed until midnight. Maybe someone else will write in with an answer that I can print in the comments section.

  9. Hi Jack,
    I don’t know if you’ll remember me, but we met during the Allears meet at AoA. I said you were my favorite, and you said my friends and I all get gold stars as CMs in your book. I thought I would try to answer some of the comments/questions based on my experience at the party last year.

    In regards to the Tangled characters: Mother Gothel was not available, and I don’t believe she is a character that is out to meet anyways. We were able to meet Rapunzel and Flynn in the Town Square Theater princess room, but I imagine they rotate out with other sets of couples.

    Cinderella’s Carriage WAS out for MNSSHP last year. Of course, this is subject to change. We found it in Fantasyland not far from Columbia Harbour House.

    If you can dress up in costume, do it! I wore a very simple Minnie Mouse outfit, and the cast members and characters LOVED it! Got comments and special attention all night.

    Absolutely wait for the second parade if at all possible. We watched both the fireworks and the second parade from Main Street and I have never seen it so empty!

    We attended the party on Columbus Day. While the crowds were not “predicted” to be high, when we entered the park shortly after 4pm, it was packed. Everything had a long line. But as it got nearer to 7, the park cleared out a lot. I was glad to see that guests without the wristbands were indeed seeming to leave the park. We didn’t wait more than 15-20 minutes for any characters, and only about 5 minutes for any rides.

    I am excited for your MVMCP blog, because I’ll be attending that for the first time this year!

  10. I am beyond excited for this party and I will be attending on October 21st. It is my first time leaving Canada and to go to Disney World on my first trip out of the cold north is a dream! This was so helpful and I read every blog I can. 21 more days now 🙂

  11. Hi, loved your blog, my husband and I were also there on Sept 11. Wish I could have read you blog before going. Now I guess we have to go again. I checked my photos and Maleficent was there on the left side right next to the castle.

  12. Hello! I love this blog entry bout the Halloween party. I do hope you decide to do one on the Christmas party as I am very interested in attending it.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I will definitely be covering the Christmas party. It’s also a big crowd pleaser. The first party is November 9th so look for my review soon afterwards.

  13. Thanks for your review! I’ve never been to the party, and it looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for working so hard & reporting it for the rest of us!!

  14. Are the fast passes available for rides that are open during the Halloween party?

    Jack’s Answer:

    FastPasses are not used during MNSSHP. The theory is that since Disney caps the attendance, they are not needed.

  15. Thanks for the update on the party Jack! I haven’t decided if I’m going to attend this year’s MNSSHP yet. A Halloween Horror nights ticket was included with my Universal AP–so I might just do that one this year.

  16. Thanks for this review! This gives me a lot of insight to the event. I will be at WDW next month and am thinking of attending. I am traveling alone, and wondering if the event is more for kids than adults?

    Jack’s Answer:

    The event might lean a little toward kids because of the abundance of Disney characters. But adults without children are everywhere at MNSSHP. If you’re a Disney fan, you’ll have a good time.

  17. Jack, thanks for this and all of your awesome blogs. My wife and I are headed to our first MNSSHP this year on 10/23 and I have a question. I know you said that party attendees can enter as early as 4:00p.m. but can an adult enter in costume before 7:00? I am not dressing up but my wife has a lot of Minnie Mouse gear she is going to wear. I wasn’t sure if the “no dressing up for adults” policy was relaxed on party days even hours before the party kicks off. Thanks for any info!

    Jack’s Answer:

    On party days, you can show up anytime in your costume. Disney relaxes the rule a lot. They realize that some people will be spending the day and night at the Magic Kingdom and this is the only way they can dress in costume.

  18. Thanks for the fabulous MNSSHP 2012 report! Your photos are amazing, particularly the ones of the Villains Mix & Mingle. (Assume you used a tripod and fast shutter speed?) Absolutely love the videos of the parade and fireworks, too!

    Our family has attended MNSSHP in early October 2010 and 2011. We think it’s hands-down THE BEST hard ticket event at WDW. We have always been able to enter MK at 4:00 pm with our MNSSHP tickets. The party is such a great opportunity to meet the Villains and other characters rarely appearing in the Parks (e.g., the Seven Dwarves, Cinderella’s mice friends Suzy and Perla, and the Princes, including Prince Charming, Prince Philip and our favorite, Flynn Rider!).

    I totally agree about watching the parade from Frontierland/Liberty Square – definitely better viewing than at the Hub or along Main Street! Also, once the parade passes, you can hop right on Splash Mountain or Big Thunder for a quick ride!

    A previous poster (Anjie) asked about Cinderella’s Carriage at MNSSHP. The past two years (2010 & 2011) during MNSSHP, Cinderella’s Carriage has been out and there has been a PhotoPass photographer assigned to that location. It is nicely themed with pumpkins displayed on the ground in the front and there is virtually no wait to have a photo taken. In 2010 it was in front of Pinocchio Village Haus and last year it was in the area of the Skyway (soon-to-be Tangled Meet & Greet and restrooms location).

  19. Thanks for the nice overview Jack,

    We have been to the party several times over the years. The last one we went to was a couple of years ago and we went to the LAST party, November 1st. It was a little bit more crowded than other parties we had been too, but it was a lot of fun. The crazy part was how the cast members were trying to get rid of their candy. We never got so much candy at the party before. Near the end of the night, our little son wanted to ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin one more time and as we were walking over there, two cast members came up to us and told us we had the best costumes that night (we were the Wazowski family) and gave my son two FULL bags of candy. Never mind that we already had three FULL bags from doing our own trick or treating. Thank goodness we drove our car down for that trip. I don’t know how we would have gotten all that in our luggage.

    Thanks again Jack,

    Eric

  20. MNSSHP is a must do every year for me and my daughter (18). We have gone every year for the last 7 years! Not only are we Disney fanatics, but Halloween fanatics, too, so this event is right up our alley! We are so excited for this year’s parties (Oct 11&12) as we will have coordinating Haunted Mansion costumes. Can’t wait!

    I often hear people ask, “Is it really worth it?” and I say YES! The lighting, ambience, the feeling in the air, seeing all the people running around MK in costumes…you just can’t experience that everyday! Spend the extra $ and go, you won’t regret it!

  21. Jack, another great report. Our family went to the MNSSHP in 2010, and it’s wonderful, taking my DH this year in 40 more days. Just the two of us. Having dinner at The Crystal Palace before the party starts. No one should even hesitate to go to this fantastic party. I love it better than MVMCP, so go, and “don’t be afraid”!!!!

  22. This will be our second trip to MNSSHP. We planned our trip to Florida and DW to ensure that we would get to go! Any tips on the best place to watch the parade? Last year we missed the headless horseman, but we definitely don’t want to this year!

    Jack’s Answer:

    I try to avoid Main Street and The Hub as these areas are always too crowded. I like to stand in Liberty Square at the “bend in the road” between Hall of Presidents and the Liberty Belle Landing. This allows me to see the floats coming from Frontierland, turn in front of me, then head to the Hub.

    I hope that helps.

  23. Thanks for the great post. We went last year on the last night and will be doing so the same this year(Nov. 2).

    Going on the last day was great as the cast members were even MORE generous in giving out the goodies” than normal, AND the park was less crowded during the party than on the other MNSSHP days!!

    We were at MK all day and also found it less crowded than usual. That makes sense to me–I’d rather go to MK on a day that we could stay later than have to leave at 7:00 pm.

  24. Thanks for another great blog Jack! We were at the party on the 14th – hate that we missed you!

    We went to MVMCP last year and I loved it. But I have to say, I think the Halloween party is a lot more value for the money. And, everyone was so festive and energetic! The fireworks were amazing and I loved the parade. Except that the song is STILL stuck in my head! Ack!

  25. Hey Jack :] I read through the comments and thought I’d address a few things you weren’t able to, since you were enjoying the party offerings for your blog.

    The dance party that takes place between the Headless Horseman’s ride and the Boo To You parade only occurs on Main Street (at Center Street) and in Town Square. There is no scheduled pre-parade entertainment in Frontierland/Liberty Square, since the parade doesn’t take as long to get there after the Horseman.

    I believe nut-free treats can be found at City Hall.

    Face painting is not available at the Magic Kingdom, and hasn’t been since they closed the station in Toontown. The makeovers at The Pirates League and Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique would be the closest thing available in MK.

    Thanks so much for your blogs, Jack!

    Jack’s Comment:

    THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

    I occasionally hear guests complain that a cast member didn’t know something or provided them with wrong information. I always come to the CMs defense. Disney World is huge. No one person can know everything — not even me. LOL The CMs at Guest Relations have computers with access to Disney databases. I’m not so fortunate. I truly appreciate the information you provided.

  26. Such a fun event and well worth the money! My husband and I have attended twice without kids and had a blast. One of the best parts of the night for us is to find a bench on Main Street and watch all the costumes stream in. So much fun to see the creativity and the pure excitement on the little ones faces.

  27. Jack,

    Another great review we are doing it again this year. We did it two years ago loved it. This is going to be another incredible Halloween at the Kingdom. Thanks for the preview of things to come in 41 days.

  28. Do you know if the candy they hand out is nut free? My nephew has a nut allergy and I am wondering if he will be able to eat any of the candy that he gets.

    Jack’s Answer:

    The candy is a mixed bag. Everything from lollypops to Snickers bars. There are nut-free options, but they’re mixed in with everything else.

  29. We are visiting DW during Halloween this year and will be in MK on October 28th. We have a two and four year old who are afraid of EVERYTHING. What happens at 7, do they kick us out? This is out first trip to DW and I really do not know what to expect. I just am concerned because I don’t want our trip to be less than wonderful or for us to miss out on something. Also do you know anything about what the campground is like on Halloween or do you have or know where to get a list of activities that are happening at the campground for Halloween? Thank you!

    Jack’s Answer:

    You didn’t exactly say, but I’m assuming you do NOT have a ticket to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. If this is correct, then you will be required to leave the Magic Kingdom at 7pm. If you do have a ticket, you can stay until midnight.

    There are Halloween decorations in the Magic Kingdom during the day, but none of them are scary. Nothing spooky really happens until after 7pm — and even that is very mild. But you say you’re children are frightened of everything. In that case, some of the villains that appear during the party could be scary.

    Once again, you didn’t say, but I’m assuming you’re staying at the campground. When you check in at the campground, you will be provided a list of all the activities and times. But to make sure, ask the receptionist to go over it with you.

    If you’re not staying at the campground but just plan on visiting, check at one of the shops or the check-in desk for details when you arrive.

  30. Great blog as always! After 25+ trips to the world, I’m going to my very first MNSSHP on 10/16. We’re taking a break from the parks that day to rest up so we’ll be refreshed for the party- can’t wait!!

    Jack’s Comment:

    I think it’s a great idea to take a break from the parks before the party, but remember, you can arrive at the Magic Kingdom any time after 4pm. I often suggest that people use the hours between 4 and 7 to ride the rides, then once the party begins, you can concentrate on the shows, parade, and candy.

  31. What a great recap of the party. Was Cinderella’s carriage out this year? I haven’t seen any photos of it. If so, where is it located? Also, do the characters quit signing during the parade? We are heading to the second parade and wanted to meet characters during the first and are afraid none may be around.

    Jack’s Answer:

    Cinderella’s Carriage is brought out for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, not MNSSHP. That’s why you didn’t see it in my pictures.

    I don’t really want to break the magic, but there are duplicate characters. According to others, the Villains sign autographs for about 15 minutes after the Dance Mix.

  32. Aww Jack you were at the party and we missed you?? lol!! I recognize a bunch of the costumes you have here–pretty sure Freddy is in the background of the “zombie family” picture before he changed into his costume(he was Sorcerer Mickey for the party)

    Someone mentioned in earlier comments that it takes a couple of trips to get pictures with all the villains–it helps if you line up near where they’ll be coming out (we were able to get two characters per show by being towards the front of one line and getting on another one right away)

    From left to right: Maleficent (on the ramp), Dr. Facilier, the Evil Queen, Captain Hook, Cruella deVil and the Queen of Hearts (on the ramp)Frollo is a roaming character again but doesn’t have a photopass photographer or character attendant with him so you’ll have to hand off your cameras to other members of your party/ask other guests 🙂

  33. This is so awesome! I love seeing the videos and pictures and reading about MNSSHP. We arrive in Florida September 22 and we have tickets to September 25th’s party. I am so excited! I have been to Disney many times, but never for Halloween or Christmas, so I am so excited to be here this year to see the Halloween party and decorations! I’m more excited than my 8yr old daughter. She is pysched that she can wear a Halloween costume to Magic Kingdom. I tried to get her to be a Disney Character for this experience, but I guess we are too old for that. 🙁

    Thank you for the great post and the info on this website. We truly do appreciate it.

  34. Great review! I can’t wait to go back, but sadly, it won’t be this year. I went last year, and my cousin and I (both adults) went fully costumed. Hair, makeup, the whole nine yards. It was a blast, and I really don’t think it would have been as much fun without our costumes! We got special attention from cast members, and our pictures were special and different from all of our other Disney trips! The cast members go out of their way to interact with costumed guests, and that’s half the fun. I was dressed as Barbie from Toy Story 3 (legwarmers and all!), and Buzz Lightyear invited me for a special dance! My cousin dressed as Minnie Mouse, and the cast members saluted and called her “Boss Lady” all night!

    So, I just want to encourage anyone to attend in costume and experience the magic that comes with being someone else for a night!

  35. Jack,

    Thanks for another “great” post and some wonderful pictures. We have attended Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party a couple of times, but this year we will be attending MNSSHP on October 21. My grandkids (12 and 10) are really looking forward to it.

    John

  36. Jack, My daughter has a phobia of spiders and would have an anxiety attack if she saw that spider game. Can you please tell me exactly where it is located so we can avoid it or I can direct her around it without her seeing it?
    Thank you!

    Jack’s Answer:

    The spider game I saw was located on Main Street in front of the Cinema. HOWEVER!!!! This was a small, easily portable game. It could end up someplace else.

  37. Thanks for another great blog.
    I went with my brother, sister-in-law and 9 month old nephew October 2001. It obviously was right after 9/11 but Disney did their best to put on a party. The bad thing was that it POURED the entire evening, so our costumes were a mess, but you know what? We still had a good time amd will never forget that (soggy) evening.

  38. We have never been before and we are really excited to be going on the 28th. I have heard that they have free face painting during the party. Is this true and do you happen to know if we enter at 4:00 if its free then or not till after 7:00. Also, where the face painting is located. Just trying to plan our route for the night.

    Jack’s Answer:

    I did not see any face painting during my visit, but please remember, I’m racing through the park trying to capture as much as I do. So to answer your question, I don’t know. Maybe. But I don’t know.

    I scoured the MNSSHP brochure hand out I was given and it mentions nothing about free face painting.

    I can tell you this, if it is available, it will not be offered until 7pm. NOTHING party related begins until 7pm with the exception of the Halloween decorations on Main Street that are there all season long.

  39. Thanks for the report, Jack. My mom and I have gone to the party the last two years and have enjoyed it. Some people are very creative with their costumes, we loved seeing that. We will be missing it this year. But alas this year, we will be coming down in November and will be doing the MVMCP instead. I’m excited to see the World all done up for Christmas.

  40. Hi Jack,

    Thanks for another great blog…we wish we were going this year but we’ll have to wait. It’s so much fun and the parade is my favourite of all Disney parades and I love the extra ghoulish makeup used on the cast in Haunted Mansion.

    I’m not sure if they still do this but we had a great family photo taken by a Photopass photographer right in front of Haunted Mansion where we all looked very frightened – it was a keeper!

    Wendy

  41. Jack ~ another wonderful post!!
    I enjoyed all your pictures. I went in September 2010 for the first time and had a BLAST! The Boo-To-You Parade was fantastic and we had a curb side view of the Headless Horseman! FANTASTIC! We went during the first week of October and it was very crowded, but even with the crowd, I would definitely do this again. WDW decorations are just beautiful and the Cast Members really get into the Halloween Spirit. Again, your pictures brought back some happy memories!! Thanks so much!

  42. Thanks Jack! This is great! This is the first year in a few years we haven’t gone as we have a newborn, so the videos are a good way for me to stay in touch with the magic.

    We go in Sept, and MK has typically been empty for us during the day. Last year, however, the place was PACKED for the party. I don’t typically go to Disney during peak crowd times, so I wasn’t really prepared for the waits or the crowds. I later learned this night was a sell out, which was odd for September. For a separate hard ticket event, I wish Disney would have sold less tickets (I know, they are there to make money)…..but that won’t stop me from going again in the future.

  43. So during the parades are there only 988 happy haunts left in The Haunted Mansion? I counted 4 pairs of dancers plus 3 more spirits on the float.

    Jack’s Answer:

    When a good friend of mine was applying for a job at Walt Disney World, the interviewer asked him if he knew how many people were employed here. He answered 55,002. The interviewer asked, “How did you come up with that number?” My friend answered, “Every time I ride the parking lot tram, the CM says, ‘On behalf of the driver, myself, and the OTHER 55,000 CM’s, we’d like to welcome you to Epcot.’ So that makes 55,002.”

    He got the job.

  44. We are Disney regulars but never been over Halloween before. We are going the end of October for the MNSSHP for the first time. Can you tell me the difference between the Trick-Or-Treat Trails and the Trick-Or-Treat spots? Also, did the MK railway still run around the park?

    It looks like the cute Mickey popcorn buckets are offered this year again – is that right?

    Thank you so much for the reviews! Great info! We are counting down until our trip!

    Jack’s Answer:

    A Trick-or-Treat spot will feature only one candy barrel where CMs are handing out goodies. A Trail will have multiple barrels along a path where you can stop again and again for candy as you proceed along the trail. There are so many candy distribution spots it really isn’t important. Kids can get all they want.

    In my blog, I listed all of the attractions that are running during the event. The steam train is not one of them.

    In my blog, I have a picture and the price of the Mickey popcorn bucket.

  45. I attended Tuesday as well. I am surprised that you didn’t mention they got rid of the wenches and pirates waltzing in the Pirate section of the parade. It was replaced with a “Pirate Color Guard,” that I didn’t enjoy as much. Who ever thought they would see 10 male pirates dancing with flags? Not very pillaging and plunging type work there!

    You also did not mention that after the Headless Horseman rides, they have a hip hop dance party on Main Street. The dance is on the Disney Blog so you can learn it before.

    We had a great time and will probably buying another ticket to do it again this year!

    Jack’s Answer:

    Disney provided AllEars with a list of new things added to MNSSHP this year. Blogger Kristin wrote about this (see the front page of AllEars). One of the things mentioned in Kristin’s blog was new entertainment before the parade. I watched the parade twice from Liberty Square. There was NONE.

    The parade changes something EVERY year. And to be honest, I really don’t remember from one year to the next.

    There is no way I can cover everything that happens at MNSSHP. There is too much and my blog would become tedious. Besides, I got home from the party at 1am and posted my blog to AllEars at 2pm the same day.

  46. Loved reading this blog about MNSSHP. We are going for the first time ever this year. Heading to DW 10/29-11/5 and willl be at MNSSHP on Halloween night. I know this is one of the busiest nights of the party if not the busiest but I am really looking forward to it. I also don’t think we will be too overwhelmed seeing as we have gone to DW twice before for Christmas and have been at the parks when they are filled to capacity. I really enjoyed the blog and I can’t wait to see it in person.

  47. You did it again, Jack! A great blog that answered all of my questions for two weeks. It’s like you read my mind. First the Boardwalk over view followed by MNSSHP both of which we will be at next week! I’m so excited. Thanks for all your hard work.

  48. With three small children, where is the best place to watch the parade? We’ll be there at the end of September.

    Thanks!

    Jack’s Answer:

    For any parade, Main Street is always the busiest spot. The Plaza (Hub) is also very crowded. I always watch the parade from Liberty Square or Frontierland. However, if you want a front row seat, you still need to arrive 30 minutes before the first parade and 15 minutes before the second

  49. Wow, this makes me so excited for the party. I’m going for the first time this year with my toddler. (She actually likes to stay up super late so I think the party should go well.) Out of curiosity, did you see Mother Gothel from Tangled? My DD is a huge Tangled fan and really likes Mother Gothel (along with the more expected Rapunzel et al.)

    Jack’s Answer:

    I did not see any characters from Tangled. However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. It just means I didn’t see them. So I really can’t answer your question with 100% certainty.

  50. We have been to several MNSSHP too. Can I make a few suggestions to the comments your fans made about characters? We mainly go for the characters….and the parade… All the Villains come down for photo ops after the show, but you have to ask a cast member during the show where to line up for each character. Then stand there. When the show is over people make a mad dash and the cast members try their best to maintain order.If you are lucky, you may be able to see more than one character after the show. They only stay for 15 minutes so you may have to go to two or three shows if you want your picture with each one.
    Snow White and the 7 Dwarfs are usually in Frontierland. Tarzan and Jane in Adventureland as well as The Genie and Jaboo with Jasmine. I heard Gaston was there last year, but we missed him so we are going to ask a cast member/ photographer this year. Also don’t forget the Disney Magic photo with the Coachman at Haunted Mansion.
    Thanks for your review. we are heading over on the 18th and can’t wait.

    Jack’s Answer:

    Thanks for the suggestions. I’m sure my readers will appreciate them.

    When I attend MNSSHP, it’s all I can do to cover what I cover. I never ride on any attractions or meet with characters or gather candy. I’m racing from spot to spot, snapping pictures and gathering information. I’m “working” I’m not there “having fun.” I see the parade thru my camera viewfinder. It’s not until I get home and watch my video that I can actually enjoy the parade. I try my best to cover everything, but this is simply impossible. I’m sure others will appreciate your hints.

  51. My husband and I are going to the party for the very first time on Sept. 30th. We are Florida residents, and of the many dozens of times I’ve been to WDW, I have never been to MNSSHP, and I have not been trick-or-treating since I was a little kid! I’m very excited–now I just have to figure out costumes. We don’t have children but we are always thrilled to act like kids at Disney.

    Jack’s Answer:

    Dressing in costume is fantastic, but don’t feel obligated. Most people do not wear them. Do what works best for you.

  52. We went for the first time 2 years ago and had a total blast! Didnt think they could beat the christmas party but it did for us. Love people watching during the party so many people get really into their costumes. And I had the cutest 2 year old Winnie the Pooh EVER :)We caught a Photo Pass Person on the side of the castle going toward the haunted mansion and she took several playful shots for like 10 minutes while he played in his costume. Fireworks are a must see with also music! We will be there for the Sept 30th party.First time for my in-laws..we Cant Wait and niether can my 4 year old Peter Pan!!

  53. Thanks so much for this Jack. Our children vary in age and this was very helpful in deciding whether or not they are ready for the event.

  54. Great review. We have done the MNSSHP for the last four or five years and it is a blast. We go during September (Will be there in just a week, cannot wait!), and it is rarely crowded, though there is a glut of people between six and seven. Parents with small children seem to vacate the parks rather early and it is left uncrowded as a result. There’s nothing better than walking around the Magic Kingdom with hundreds of folks in costume, getting great candy (lots of chocolate bars), and riding every ride at least five times. I can’t stress enough how fantastic the fireworks are. Well worth the price of admission! Only slight downside is you will have the “boo to you” song in your head for at least four months… 😉

  55. Another great review! We are going to be attending MNSSHP on the last night, 11/2. Would you say that is a day to avoid the MK during the day?

    Jack’s Answer:

    I really don’t know. Disney doesn’t make attendance predictions public. Party days can be busy as many come and spend the entire day.

  56. Thank you so much for posting this! I am going to be there for The Tower of Terror 10 miler and this is definitely a victory present to myself!

    I’m excited to meet Maleficent. This will be my 1st time and I can’t wait! Hope her line isn’t insanely long.

    Do you happen to know of any rare characters being there that would be a must see?

    Jack’s Answer:

    Ummm, I’m not sure Maleficent is one of the characters that is “out and about.” She’s in the parade and the Villains Dance Mix show. I didn’t see her posing for pictures yesterday, but then, it’s impossible to be everywhere and see everything.

  57. Hi Jack! I think that people stop to hear the ‘tales’ that the “spirit from beyond” tells…rather than the ‘tails’ that you mention…unless, of course that she really does have tails that you can hear. LOVE your blog!

    Jack’s Comment:

    This is what happens when you don’t get home until 1am from the party and try to get two videos and a blog ready by 2pm the next day. LOL

  58. Great review! Do you have info on where we can meet characters that are out for MNSSHP?

    Jack’s Answer:

    The characters are all over the park — often with a short line or none at all. Last night I could have had my picture taken with Jafar or Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters with absolutely no wait.

  59. Last year my wife and I went to the World at the end of August, beginning of Sept and we saw the start of the decorations going up for the Halloween party. We instantly decided that we have to come for the party.

    This year will be our first MNSSHP and we can not wait.

    plus we are going to try to get to Universal’s horror nights as well…